17 July 2010

My zucchini is gay

First, the plant did produce, early and impressively. Since then? Nothing. Oh yeah, lots of show: big flowers that bloom, fall off, die. And still more blooms that never open, wither, fall off, die. Last night Farmer John explained the magic of pollination and how it ain't happening. It seems that the big showy male blooms are getting no attention, and that perhaps the female blooms are not putting out like they could. Something like that. How did I end up with the big gorgeous zucchini a couple weeks ago? Evidently a hetero worker bee stopped by earlier this summer so that there could be at least one offspring, but I would hazard a guess that it sensed the sexual ambiguity on my porch and told its friends not to bother. To sum up: there has been, lately, no sex on my porch. If I want more zucchini, I am faced with two choices, both fraught with moral and ethical tangles:

  1. Adoption (farmer's market is this Sunday, after all). But I can't know where the vegetables (because make no mistake, that is what we're talking about) came from, how they were raised, or whether they'll be any good as they get older. Sure, it mostly worked for my parents, though Steve works in Hollywood, Jennifer constantly asked strangers for gum, and Gretchen kept several full-sized, fully-dressed mannequins in her room for years. The more I think about it, the more it seems like a risky move.
  2. Artificial insemination. Again, so many unknowns. Legend has it that the turkey baster is the at-home method of choice, but doesn't that seem like wearing a prom dress to a picnic? I suppose I could go out with tweezers and grab some pollen, but let's face it: I don't know what goes where. Never have, don't need to learn now. 
It is possible—though I don't like saying it out loud—that this may be a summer with no more zucchini.


  1. I fear (and I DO mean fear) that 'no more zucchini' NOT going to be the problem this season. More like roving bands of zook-pushers, leaving bags of excess produce under cover of darkness.

  2. That would be unheard of - but AI on zucchini? That's going too far. Still, it is probably easier than injecting mosquitoes with malaria parasite. Can you imagine how small those needles have to be?

  3. Apparently, my zucchini blooms are not only wildly hetero, they are also willing to let God decide how many children they'll have.

  4. http://www.gardenguides.com/79465-self-pollinate-zucchini-flowers.html

    Just in case...


As always, civility reigns, but cleverness trumps.

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